ADR Section News & Tips December 2018
Message From the Chair
Greetings from the Chair of the ADR Section! We are about halfway through this program year and I am so pleased to report that there is a lot still to come for our section—more CLE opportunities and offerings and the section’s inaugural Mentoring Academy in March 2019. More details for all of these will be coming your way via tweets, Facebook updates and emails from the section. 

Our mid-year meeting occurs January 17, 2018 in Orlando in conjuction with The Florida Bar Winter Meeting. The Executive Council will be meeting in-person and all members are invited to attend. If you have something that you would like to put on that agenda, please email me, Kim Torres or  Stefanie Svisco, our Florida Bar Program Administrator. 

Also during the Winter Meeting, our section will be joining with The Florida Bar to produce a training program for mediating and arbitrating attorney grievances. Neutrals are always needed for this process so if you have a desire to get involved, come live to the training or find it online after the meeting and get involved in helping The Florida Bar address these situations.

Another project underway in 2019 is a request from the Florida Supreme Court’s Rules & Policy Committee for input from our section members on MEAC opinions as well as the Ethical Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators. This is your opportunity to let the Rules & Policy Committee know which MEAC opinions should be reviewed and potentially revised. The rules form the foundation for MEAC opinions and analysis. Are there areas where the rules should be amended or clarified? As you may know, the rule-making process in The Florida Bar is similar—litigants or advocates contact the relevant rules committee with suggestions for rule changes based on outcomes and decisions that the participants believe highlight areas of confusion or unintended consequences.  Please take this opportunity to let us know. We will capture the comments on our website and submit them to the ADR Rules & Policy Committee as they begin the process of considering upcoming rule changes. We will begin accepting your submissions on the rules starting on Feb. 1, 2019 with a cut-off of March 31, 2019. You will receive a separate email with the details for the submission after Jan. 1, 2019. 

Wishing one and all a joyous holiday season and prosperity in the New Year!

Christina Magee, Chair
Brevard Mediation Services, Satellite Beach
Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program Offers Free Training for Volunteers on January 17 in Orlando
From the Dec. 15 Florida Bar News article .

Arbitrators and mediators who work with The Florida Bar’s Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program are being offered free, separate, two-hour training programs by The Standing Committee on Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration on Jan. 17 at the Bar’s Winter Meeting at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld . The arbitration training provides two hours of CLE credit and the mediator program has two hours of CLE/CME (including CME ethics) credit.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the program should contact Susan Austin at The Florida Bar, . Those wishing to take the free courses should contact Sergio Botero at (850) 561-3166 or .

The arbitration training is from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the mediation training is from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Each of these training modules is specifically geared for training volunteers in the Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program under Chapter 14, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

The arbitration training will be taught by ADR Executive Council member Meah Tell , a former chair of The Florida Bar ADR Section and former president of the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators. She has served on three Supreme Court alternative dispute resolution-related committees: ADR Rules and Policy Committee, Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee, and the Mediation Training Review Board. She has also been an adjunct professor at the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University, where she taught a mediation seminar for five years. She will be assisted in her mock arbitration by Sandy Myers , Adam Myron and Christina Magee

The mediation training will be conducted by ADR Section member Charles Castagna , who has worked as a full-time mediator and mediator trainer since 1994. He has mediated in state and federal courts in virtually every applicable area of law from franchise disputes to civil rights to real estate and securities. He is a former adjunct professor at Stetson University College of Law and has been a trainer for the circuit civil mediation training program at the University of South Florida. Charles has served on the Supreme Court’s Mediation and Arbitration Rules Committee, has been president of the Florida Association of Professional Family Mediators and the Florida Academy of Professional mediators, and served on the Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee. He is currently on the ADR Rules and Policy Committee. He has conducted seminars for the Bar, several local bar associations and private law firms. He will be assisted in his mock mediation by Adam Myron and Sandy Myers.

The Florida Bar established the Grievance Mediation and Fee Arbitration Program in 2004. Both programs are governed by Chapter 14 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. These voluntary programs are offered as a service to the public and Bar members, so there is no charge for participation. Since the Bar does not charge the participants, it must seek out volunteer mediators and arbitrators to handle these matters. The program is always seeking volunteer arbitrators and mediators throughout the state for both programs and both Bar members and non-lawyers are eligible to serve.
Health and Wellness
Legal Stress

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow for the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law. Thank you to the ADR Section Health & Wellness Committee for sharing this information.

The adversarial legal system produces a great deal of contentious conflict that can be extremely stressful for everyone involved. In addition to litigants, this can include law students, lawyers and legal academics. Although lawyers and mediators might be generally aware of this situation, they may not recognize specific mechanisms of legal stress and the symptoms they produce.

This blog post by John Hande provides excerpts from research that summarizes significant stresses affecting each of these groups, and notes resources and ideas for dealing with them. The post also refers us to recent reports that suggest ways to alleviate these problems: The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being published  The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations For Positive Change and the ABA published a  Well-Being Toolkit For Lawyers and Legal Employers.

For more information and resources on lawyer wellness, please visit The Florida Bar Mental Health and Wellness Center.
Want to Serve on a Florida Bar Committee?
The annual committee preference form for Bar members seeking appointments for the term of President-elect John M. Stewart are available online and are due no later than Jan. 15, 2019.

President-elect Stewart will make about 500 appointments to over 70 committees and he wants to make sure he has a diverse group of lawyers from which to choose.

Every Florida Bar committee and its description with current membership can be found on the Bar’s website .
Recent MEAC Opinions
Special thanks to ADR Section member Christy Foley of The Law Office of Christy L. Foley in Winter Park for providing the opinion summaries.

2018-002 . Mediator adds own research to discussion. Addresses whether, during the course of a mediation, a mediator should mention an appellate decision he found in his own research that would significantly help the case of one party but that would also significantly hinder the case of another party. In essence, MEAC stated that the mediator may not mention the appellate decision he researched (if the parties don't mention it themselves) because presenting evidence that would clearly favor one party would breach the mediator’s requirement to remain impartial. Additionally, MEAC stated that the parties' self-determination would be violated since neither party mentioned that appellate decision or raised that decision as an issue. 

2018-001 . Mediator includes disclosure statement about mediator’s role in final agreement. Addresses whether a mediator can include a statement in the parties' final agreement that says: the mediator stayed neutral during the mediation, did not give anyone legal advice during the mediation, did not make decisions for the parties, and only acted as a scrivener when drafting the agreement (not as an attorney/legal advocate). In essence, MEAC stated that including such language in the final agreement could make the parties feel coerced into signing off on those terms if they want a written agreement to settle their dispute. MEAC also stated that such language adds substantive issues to the written agreement that the parties didn't raise themselves and those terms only benefit the mediator, which violates the parties' right to self-determination. Therefore, such a statement shouldn’t be included in the parties’ final agreement. 

2017-021 . Mediator repeats words to deaf party. Addresses whether a mediator can restate one party's words to another party in the case where Party A is on the phone and Party B is deaf, but can read lips. The mediator wanted to restate what Party A said so that Party B could read his lips and participate in the mediation. In that case, MEAC essentially said that a mediator cannot perform dual roles as an interpreter and a mediator. An interpreter or translator would be needed in such a case.

2017-019 . Mediator is subpoenaed to testify. Addresses whether a mediator who is subpoenaed to testify about a mediation may file a motion to quash the subpoena. In essence, MEAC stated that such a motion could be filed in order to protect the confidentiality nature of a mediation. However, the mediator could appear in court and object in person, if he wanted to do that instead of filing a motion to quash the subpoena. MEAC also stated that a mediator in this position should consult an attorney (who's knowledgeable about the topic) to get more specific advice. 
Get Involved With the Section: Join a Committee
The ADR Section has numerous active commmittees that welcome your involvement. Please contact the chairs/co-chairs listed below if you want to learn more.

Call For Authors and Speakers
The ADR Section is seeking volunteers to contribute to our CLE events and publications. We welcome new perspectives! If you have a recent blog post or speech that you can submit as an article for an upcoming issue of the ADR biannual magazine (newly renamed "The Common Ground") please contact Michelle Jernigan or Natalie Paskiewicz. If you have a CLE topic idea you'd like to present, please contact Kim Torres or Kathy McLeroy or download and complete this short survey and email it to Chair-Elect Kim Torres.
Submit Your News
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